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The Rehab Journals of Amelia F.W. Caruso (1989-2009)
Story by Melissa M. Weiksnar
"Melissa Weiksnar's detailed and bravely honest account of the years leading up to her daughter's tragic death brings true insight into the challenges and angst of parenting a child suffering from addiction. Amy's words and spirit can be felt through her journal entries and allow readers to immerse themselves within the mind of a person struggling to get sober. This story is ammunition towards fighting the stereotype of the "typical" addict and is evidence that neither a loving family, education nor socioeconomic status can save a person from the powerful grip of addiction. May this book help others to find meaning in their losses and increase awareness about the most effective ways to support a loved one with an addiction."
-- Sarah Allen Benton, M.S., LMHC, therapist and author of Understanding the High-Functioning Alcoholic
"Heroin's Puppet provides a clear picture of a parent's journey--the pain, the confusion, and the uncertainty--when a child suffers from addiction. I think this book would be helpful not only to those families who are searching for answers but also to therapists, counselors, physicians, and anyone who works with families and those suffering from addiction."
-- Kenneth S. Ramsey, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer, Gateway Rehabilitation Center
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Amy Caruso was a junior in the nursing program at Boston College and seemed to have everything going for her--brains, beauty, athleticism, career goals, a loving family, and many wonderful friends. But in November 2009, she admitted she was a heroin addict and voluntarily entered treatment. Five weeks later she died from an overdose at the treatment facility on the day after Christmas, weeks shy of her twenty-first birthday.
Melissa Weiksnar attended Wellesley College and is a graduate of MIT, Harvard Business School, and the University of Houston. After twenty years in the high-technology industry, she changed careers to high-school teaching. Since Amy died, Melissa has been telling Amy's story to school, college, community, and religious groups to help others understand how addiction is an equal opportunity disease. She and her husband have two older children and live in Massachusetts.